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Arc_Eph 1_11-14

Arc_Eph 1_11-14

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Published by Steven Long

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Published by: Steven Long on Oct 15, 2009
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07/04/2010

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Steven Long
Inheritors of the Crown
(Ephesians 1:11-14)
Last updated: 10/11/2009
11a
11b
11c
11d
12
13a
13b
13c
14a
14b
 
ἐν
|
|
καὶ 
|
ἐκληρώθημεν
In
|
him
|
we
|
have
|
obtained
|
an
|
inheritance,
 
προορισθέντες
having
|
been
|
predestined
 
κατὰ
|
πρόθεσιν
|
τοῦ
|
τὰ
according
|
to
|
the
|
purpose
|
of
|
him
 
πάντα
|
ἐνεργοῦντος
|
κατὰ
|
τὴν
|
βουλὴν
|
τοῦ
|
θελήματος
|
αὐτοῦ
 ,
who
|
works
|
all
|
things
|
according
|
to
|
the
|
counsel
|
of
|
his
|
will,
 
εἰς
|
τὸ
|
εἶναι 
|
ἡμᾶς
|
εἰς
|
ἔπαινον
|
δόξης
|
αὐτοῦ
|
τοὺς
|
προηλπικότας
|
ἐν
|
τῷ
|
Χριστῷ
·
so
|
that
|
we
|
who
|
were
|
the
|
first
|
to
|
hope
|
in
|
Christ
|
might
|
be
|
to
|
the
|
praise
|
of
|
his
|
glory.
 
ἐν
|
|
καὶ 
|
ὑμεῖς
|
ἀκούσαντες
|
τὸν
|
λόγον
|
τῆς
|
ἀληθείας
 ,
|
τὸ
|
εὐαγγέλιον
|
τῆς
|
σωτηρίας
|
ὑμῶν
 ,
In
|
him
|
you
|
also,
|
when
|
you
|
heard
|
the
|
word
|
of
|
truth,
|
the
|
gospel
|
of
|
your
|
salvation,
 
ἐν
|
|
καὶ 
|
πιστεύσαντες
and
|
believed
|
in
|
him,
 
ἐσφραγίσθητε
|
τῷ
|
πνεύματι 
|
τῆς
|
ἐπαγγελίας
|
τῷ
|
ἁγίῳ
 ,
were
|
sealed
|
with
|
the
|
promised
|
Holy
|
Spirit,
 
ὅς
|
ἐστιν
|
ἀρραβὼν
|
τῆς
|
κληρονομίας
|
 ἡμῶν
 ,
who
|
is
|
the
|
guarantee
|
of
|
our
|
inheritance
 
εἰς
|
ἀπολύτρωσιν
|
τῆς
|
περιποιήσεως
 ,
|
εἰς
|
ἔπαινον
|
τῆς
|
δόξης
|
αὐτοῦ
.
until
|
we
|
acquire
|
possession
|
of
|
it,
|
to
|
the
|
praise
|
of
|
his
|
glory.
Notes
 
Inheritors of the Crown
Again, the glory of God and Christ are the central theme in this passage as Paul's phrase,
To the praise of His lor 
is stated twice; at the end of verse 12 and then aain at verse 14. Sandwiched in the middle
PurAcResResIdExpIdExpSitGG-----------------------------------------------------------------------RAc
 
 
of those two verses are the Ephesians' believing in Christ and being sealed with the Holy Spirit. Noteclosely however, that the focus is not so much on the believer as it is on the promise of God to impart tothe believer the inheritance that rightly belongs to Christ. This passage can be outlined as follows:
The Obtaining of the Inheritance
While Paul focuses on the inheritance of the believer, pointing to the riches they have in Christ Jesus withthe Father, he also makes it very clear the reason behind the inheritance. It has
nothing 
to do with us and
everything 
to do with God. He gives two reasons for this:
A. Having been predestined
First, is the idea that we have already been selected unto this inheritance. Though predestination is ahard doctrine to digest, and though it makes us uncomfortable and violates our view of who God is, it isnevertheless a truth that cannot be ignored. It is truth because the Bible clearly portrays the doctrine hereand throughout its pages. A few examples will suffice to prove this point:
Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.For 
I have chosen 
him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him. (Gen 18:18-19)And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power.
ButI will harden his heart,
so that he will not let the people go. ..And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.' AndI will be 
gracious 
to whom I will be gracious, and will 
show mercy 
on whom I will show mercy.(Ex 4:21, 33:19)And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing andglorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were 
appointed to eternal life 
believed. (Acts 13:48)The beast that you sawwas, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pitand go to destruction.And the dwellers on earth 
whose names have not been written 
inthe book of life 
from the foundation of the world 
will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. (Re 17:8)
Of course, these passsages represent a very small portion of Scripture that talk about God's sovreigntyover mankind. I have simply pointed to these passages to concrete the idea that predestination is presentthroughout Scripture; and Paul makes no attempt to hide the fact that we are blessed only because ofGod's choosing of us and His mercy upon our wicked selves.There are two other things I would like to briefly point to before moving on:1.
In Scripture, predestination always has God as its subject.
My point in saying this is for us to realizethe fact that in eternity past no one existed but God alone. That is to say that the only one around whomade the decisions concerning salvation, sanctification, and any other action was solely God. Most wouldtry and re-interpret what Paul says as the fact of God knowing in advance who would and would notbelieve. But this is not the case for God is the creator of all things including time, circumstances, and will.So the question remains is, does God simply know (cognative knowledge) of who will excercise faith inHim, or does He know (omnisciently) because He creates the time, person, and circumstanes underwhich that person will excercise faith in Christ? God not only knows what is going to happen
He causes itto happen.
That is why Joseph could confidently decalre to his brothers,
"Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God." (Gen 45:5, 7-8)
Now, Paul relays' '' ''
 
. ,not only in an aorist tense (completed action) but also in a passive voice. Simply put, it means that thesubjects of this sentence (us) are being acted upon (by an outside agent. i.e, God) rather than doing theaction for ourselves.2.
Predestination always precedes any spiritual blessing.
This is simply a fact that is throughout allScripture. Why was God favorable towards Abraham? Because He chose him (Gen 18:18). Abrahamcertainly did not ask to be sought after. He continued in everyday life worshiping false gods until Yawehcalled him to leave Ur. And why did the Lord bless the stubborn, wicked, rebellious Israelites and givethem the Promised Land? Because He loved them and chose them as His own people (Deut 7:7-10). Inthe same manner, God has chosen us as His special people; a people to be holy and blameless beforeHim (v.4). And I can certainly assure you that there was nothing in us that would cause Him to choose usexcept for pure, unhindered love and mercy (1Pe 2:4, 9; Mt 22:14; Ro 11:5, etc.).
B. According to His purpose
There are two phrases here in verse 11:
According to the purpose of Him 
and
According to the counsel of His will.
The Greek words used are boule and thelema, respectively. Both can be interchangebly used inthe sense of 'will.' Often, thelema is used as something that has been determined or that which will comeabout (Thayers, G2307. See also,
Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics,
pp.73-136 for a detaileddiscussion of the Genetive case and its multi-faceted use;
[
the Genetive is used in the Greek constructionin the last clause of verse 11
]
).So, in Paul's mind the inheritance of the believer has already been obtained. Note that it is obtained
to the praise of His glory.
This inheritance is tied to the two phrases mentioned earlier:
(1). According to the purpose of Him
Everything God does is always to glorify His own Name and cause His people to praise Him. His glory isfirst and foremost while our salvation and sanctification is secondary. Let us never make the mistake ofreversing the two: God's glory is not dependent upon our salvation, but our salvation is dependent upon(and with great mercy and love) God's glory. Scripture testifies over and over again that God does thesethings in spite of us rather than on account of us (Isa 63:14; Ex 33:19; Isa 43:7; Ezek 20:14; 1Pe 1:20;1Joh 2:12).
(2). The counsel of His will
This phrase alone signifies a great deal. The nuances are plain and Paul makes use of them well here.There are two that can be discussed here.First, the counsel
belongs to God and God alone.
He has no need to consult another for He is thecreator of all things. He already possesses complete and perfect knowledge for He had already in mindwhat He was to do before He began the process of creation (Isa 46:10). Regarding our inheritence, Jesuswas the Lamb slain from the foudation of the world (1Pe 1:20; Re 13:8) and all counsel is within theTriune Godhead so that
we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.
Thebeauty of this is twofold: (1) We are the beneficiaries of God's counsel
having been predestined.
It issomething that causes us to break forth in praise which in turn causes God to be glorified. (2) God stillrecieves the glory from His own counsel regardless of what may come. If God damns every person toHell, He is still glorified. If He saves some and not all, He is still glorified. If every person were to willinglybow their knee to Christ, He is still glorified. No matter which way we turn the key God's glory is always atthe other end of the lock.The second aspect of God's counsel is this:
no one was there when He made these decisions.
Thisseems a bit trifling to point out but it is truth. God made, decreed, and acted upon His own counsel. Nooutside force was there to persuade or dissuade Him from any course of action; and when we comeacross the doctrine of predestination in the Bible we would do well to remember this. God is still in controlof every situation. Many are offended at the idea that God is the one who chooses the recepients of Hisgrace. Yet, the text is very clear in saying that the cause of our inheritance is the fact of our
having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.
Can Paul be any clearer? God needs no defense for the actions He makes and we disservice God greatlywhen we insist that He work according to
our 
sense of justice and fairness. When we begin to meddle inGod's counsel we may receive the same answer that a well-loved character of the Bible received:
Who is this that darkens counsel by wordswithout knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you,and you make it known to me (Job 38:1-3).

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